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« Our intrepid eater | Main | A taste of Wilco »

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bread, health, and wine


In their charming little restaurant above Central Street in downtown Woodstock, Vt., Caleb Barber (center) and Deidre Heekin (left) serve food and wine that we think of as vaut le voyage -- worth a special trip.

Osteria Pane e Salute (the name means "bread and health") is more like the restaurants we seek out when traveling in Europe than pretty much anything else we know here. The couple lived and trained in Italy. Key to the character of the place is an impeccable sense of proportion, nowhere more evident than in Heekin's wine list. What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in focus, value (almost everything is under $40), and sheer interest. Plus, Heekin knows every wine intimately and can discuss it as if it were an old friend.

On our last visit we sipped a barbera/dolcetto blend from the Liguria region with our main courses. The wine, the 1999 Il Musaico from Enoteca Bisson, was a juicy trip with lots of lively bright red fruit and the added interest of some bottle age. Oddly, the '99 is Bisson's current release of this wine -- a subject we'll take up in a subsequent post. The smiling face to Barber's left belongs to the restaurant's pizzaiola (pizza maker) Victoria Gibson.

Posted by Stephen Meuse at 02:00 PM
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